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Phillip Walker
Going Back Home

Delta Groove Productions

Review by Bill Porter

This is one of the strongest Blues CD's I've heard in a long time. Everything works. The cover photo shows Phillip, with guitar case in hand, near the train yards. The image has a genuine Blues feel. The CD's back cover is a shot of Phillip with his trusty, 1950's cherry red Gibson ES 335 guitar. The entire CD just feels right.

Every track is solid and a lesson in true blues. Aspiring blues guitarists take note: Phillip effortlessly transitions between all styles of blues. If I had to compare some of the sounds on the CD, the first cut, "Lying Woman" evokes images of Albert Collin's vocals, with Albert King's guitar licks, backed by Tower of Power style horns (complete with get-down, baritone sax punch). But wait!  Phillip walker's music cannot be confined to only one niche.

Walker explores and conquers several blues styles, from John Lee Hooker, T-Bone Walker, Muddy Waters, Hubert Sumlin, Lightnin' Hopkins, Howlin' Wolf and more. It's no wonder that contemporary talents like Robert Cray site Phillip Walker as an influence.

Walker first recorded in 1952 and went on the road in 1953 with Zydeco King Clifton Chenier. This CD is not only about guitar; other cuts feature boogie woogie keyboards, soulful harmonica, gospel vocals and a grooving' rhythm section. There's no rock, disco or fluff.  Tasteful Texas blues guitar with a master's touch, laced with Phillip's savvy vocals, good production and a solid backup band are the threads that make this CD work.

"Going Back Home" has depth, soul, and a sincere quality because it is obviously crafted by a man who has lived, loved and performed the blues for decades.  Highly recommended for your CD collection AND as a performer at the area blues fests.

Reviewer Bill Porter is the front man for the Bill Porter Project an Illinois based Blues band.

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